South: Essential Recipes & New Explorations Review

South: Essential Recipes & New Explorations Review

Title: South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations
Author: Sean Brock
Published: October 15, 2019, Artisan
No. of Pages: 376
Cover Price: $40.00 Hardcover, $9.99 Kindle

Every once in a while a cookbook comes along that is truly awesome. South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations by Sean Brock, (who grew up in rural Virginia and is considered an expert on Southern food) is one such book. Everyone who ever wanted to prepare real southern food at home will get inspiration and learn just what grass roots southern cooking is all about.

Although a few of the recipes have a long list of ingredients and take time to prepare, most of the recipes are fairly effortless. The instructions are succinct and easy to understand. Even cooks with little or no experience can successfully make these dishes. Southern cooking is simple, and Brock brings out the fact that simplicity can be delicious. Brock’s recipe for Hot Water Cornbread is fabulous and a good reason to own this book. Although there are dozens of recipes for Shrimp and Grits floating around, Brock’s version is one of the best, and is very similar to the version served at Crook’s Corner (in Chapel Hill, North Carolina – a favorite restaurant) and where Bill Neal made it famous; Brock gives credit here where it’s due. Other excellent recipes in this book include Fried Catfish with Green Tomato Tartar Sauce, Limpin' Susan (a variation of Hoppin’ John), and Chicken Breasts with Black Pepper and Peanut Butter Gravy. Although the recipes are decidedly southern, many are unique.

No southern cookbook would be complete without desserts: Blackberry Cobbler (wonderful), Plum Upside-Down Cake, and Magnolia Vinegar and Brown Butter Pie to name a few.

Although there are beautiful photographs of many of the dishes, the one downside to this cookbook is that there aren’t photos of every dish. However, the cookbook is so good, that too few photos can be overlooked.

Anyone who wants to cook real southern food that is slightly different from the norm will want to own this cookbook.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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